Clean Dirt or Dirty Dirt

switchI promised myself some time ago that I would write about some of the experiences I’ve had over the years with people who think they have clean homes and apartments when in fact, they simply do the once-over wipe of anything that is glaring at them, or removing a layer of dust in which one could clearly write their name. It’s unfortunate that much of the advertising of household cleaning products are centered around what a cleaner smells like, how quickly a floor can be swiffed or damp mopped, and of course the multitude of air fresheners on the market used to basically mask an underlying odor.

I found myself several days ago in a bit of an argument with someone about how clean a home or apartment should be in order for it to be considered presentable as well as desirable to a prospective buyer or tenant. Keep in mind, I’m not a clean freak to the extent of those who are continually cleaning and chasing every spec of dirt and dust. Homes and buildings are lived and worked in which must be always considered, but if the living/working environment shows visible signs of neglect, then it’s time to do something about it.

Switch plates, door thresholds, and door knobs have always been a pet peeve of mine. I can’t seem to get over the shock effect whenever I enter a home or building where the light switches are so dirty that I really don’t even want to touch them due to likely the years of build-up of heaven knows what ever was on the fingers of people switching them on and off being rubbed on me. I had to send a cleaning crew back to a home that was being prepared for listing due to them not making sure all the corners of the flooring were as clean as the rest of the floors. I know owners and tenants do become blind to the faults of their surroundings, but I would think a cleaning crew would not miss what is newly visible to them.

One of my dear old friends who’s one of the best housekeepers I’ve known once told me that she could smell if it was time to do a deep cleaning in her home. When that time came she would leave nearly no area untouched. She would start at one end of her home and clean it room by room until she found herself at the back stairwell. The times I visited her home, I always found it just plain and simply comfortable. She’s not a flashy decorator nor is she one to have the newest and finest of furnishings; she simply takes care of what she has. She once said, “I pay keen attention to floors, kitchens and bathrooms because they are the areas that seem to always show the first signs of neglect. I can tolerate clean dirt, but not dirty dirt.” Now that’s something to consider. Is it clean dirt or dirty dirt?

Joe Chodur

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